David Walsh is a 73 year old Dublin solicitor now (in January 2024) retired, living in Ranelagh with his wife Sheila and working as a Notary Public. He has four children Justin, Daire, Sarah and Orla, and ten point zero grandchildren Thomas, Charlotte, Peter, Esme, Jakub, Georgia,Theo, Margaux, Doireann and last but not least – born 10th August 2023 – Jamie. David has at times professionally represented many outdoor pursuits national organisations – Irish Canoe Union, Mountaineering Council of Ireland, BirdWatch Ireland, Underwater Ireland, AFAS, IASTT. Originally a keen walker, then climber, he has always also had a wide general interest in outdoor pursuits, including cycling, birding, canoeing and (long ago) some SCUBA. On a sailing / climbing trip to Spitzbergen in 1990 he saw sea kayaks glide between icebergs in remote frozen Magdalena Fjord. He was blown away. The next part of his life began immediately.
A Focus on Islands
Since first it became apparent that his “islanding” was something remarkable, once he was claiming 300 or so personal island landings, he has been rigorously audited by Seán Pierce on behalf of Irish sea kayaking. David has of date of writing visited 538 of the current 612 islands dealt with, the most recent being Torhonadoogha, Gweedore, Co. Donegal. He was a founder member of Irish Sea Kayaking Association and held the position of Chairman from 1995 to 2003, retiring only to see to the publication of the initial Oileáin.
My personal / professional website formerly hosted the Irish Sea Kayaking Association www.iska.ie, linked, a voluntary association which independently represents Sea Kayaking / Sea Canoeing in Ireland. ISKA is my home. I was present at the birth, and its Chair from 1995 to 2003. On its website you will find additional information to do with current activity inside modern Irish sea kayaking. My local club East Coast Sea Kayaking Club is also very active and also linked.
I compiled a list “First Known Kayak Landings” of many remoter, harder Irish offshore islands and rocks, and on which kayakers are identified who are thought at present to have landed there “first”. This hopes to reflect in an obscure way an interesting insight into a small part of what Irish sea kayakers were at in the late 20th century / early 21st.